Wed And Sustainable Development Essay Research Paper

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Wed And Sustainable Development Essay, Research Paper At the present rate of development, according to many scientists, the world will reach critical mass sometime within the next fifty years. With these doomsday predictions, many development models have come under scrutiny for their shortsightedness and lack of environmental concerns. Over the past thirty years, those affected most, or more appropriately, those who are being forced to bear the brunt of the negative impacts of these development programs the most, have increasingly become themes that have not only brought to light serious defects in Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPS) and other development programs, but have also critically assessed the very social fabrics that have encouraged the systematic deterioration of

roles and status for a majority of people in the developing countries. Unfortunately, the majority is comprised of mainly women and children, with women especially affected by the development programs’ shortsightedness. With this in mind, the theme of Women in Development (WID) and women, environment and development (WED), among other related themes and programs, have been the main actors in voicing the concerns of those in the Third World and making known the major flaws in the Western hegemonic model of development. However, in the 1980s, because of the variety of problems, situations, complexities, and a deeper insight of the root of exclusion, a transition from WID to Gender and Development (GAD) was enacted by the aid agencies. Rosi Braidotti outlines this in her chapter,

“Women, the Environment and Sustainable Development: Emergence of the Theme and Different Views” in her coauthored book, Women, the Environment and Sustainable Development. Born in the early 1970s, WID addressed women’s roles in the development process and the need to recognize and account for their various contributions (Braidotti 80). However, with the need to eradicate poverty, governments and development agencies reformulated the demand for equity as a means to harness the valuable resource of women in economic development (80). With the increasing poverty of Third World populations, a crisis that was termed the “feminization of poverty,” women disproportionately suffered from cuts in government spending that development programs targeted as nonessential to rapid

economic development, such as health care and social services (80). Additionally, development efficiency and effectiveness was seen through increased contributions (read as workload) of women ? the “Efficiency Approach,”a term coined by Caroline Moser to describe the participation and equity of this approach to women’s development (81). Criticizing the WID efficiency approach, aid agencies during the late 1980s initiated a move to GAD, which represented a transition to “not only integrate women into development, but look for the potential in development initiatives to transform unequal social/gender relations and to empower women” (82). This shift from WID’s preoccupation with women to GAD’s focus on gender was a stance that allowed for empowerment, something the

WID approach essentially lacked. With the new view of “women as agents of change rather than as passive recipients of development assistance,” or only as tools and resources for economic development, many embraced the idea that women could be empowered in a way that allowed for better integration into development programs that would aim for complete economic development equality (82). The adoption of GAD as a way of thinking for aid agencies was relatively simple considering the far more complex and mounting problem facing the agencies: How does one design a sustainable development program which could empower women as well as improve their economic well-being? One thing is for certain, the Western gendered division of labor instituted in the South through colonization would